Posted in Blurt

Judy Cox Makes Offensive T-Shirts Cool

This week a Utah woman, Judy Cox, found herself offended by some t-shirts she saw for sale at the mall. By now you’ve surely heard that Ms. Cox purchased every one of the offensive shirts her local Pac-Sun store had in stock – $567 worth.

Sometimes The Best Thing To Be Is Quiet

Judy, Judy, Judy. What were you thinking? (KTVX)

The shirts, while not exactly pornographic, do tend to objectify women – and that’s never cool. And with the direction I’m going to take, I want to make this clear – the type of person who would wear a shirt like this is also never cool.

But poor, passionate Ms. Cox set back her cause and her checking account* with her decision. How many of us were aware of these shirts before Ms. Cox bought them and began her media blitz? I’d never even heard of Pac-Sun. While Ms. Cox succeeded in keeping that group of shirts from being displayed at her local mall, they are still available on the web and at other Pac-Sun shops. It isn’t a great leap to suppose that Judy made the shirts bigger sellers than they were before she pointed them out.

Even if some of those shirts sold before they were newsworthy, we all know that most of them would have been “lost in the laundry” or perhaps would have met with “an unfortunate bleach accident” as soon as moms around the country got their hands on them.

But all is not lost. Ms. Cox created a new economic model that I encourage all of you to take advantage of.

How To Cash In On People Like Judy

From today on, the idea of buying up an objectionable product to “protect” the public will be known as Cox Blocking.

As I’ve already established, being a Cox Blocker isn’t smart because it simply calls attention to the commodity that you’re trying to eliminate. However, I urge everyone to consider Cox Blocking, not as a model to force your personal ethics upon others, but as an investment opportunity.

You see, Judy Cox has set a new standard for people like her. I foresee others becoming Cox Blockers to enforce whatever they decide morality is and gain status within their social circles. I urge those of you who don’t intend to follow Judy’s example to follow mine.

I’m going to open a store and fill it with items that are somewhat offensive. I’ll corner the market on t-shirts with shady slogans. I’ll stock music with objectionable lyrics. If an item might offend, I’ll make it available in quantities that the average Cox Blocker can afford to buy my stores out of…for the good of kids everywhere. Cox Blockers will leave my stores with boxes of naughty shirts and bawdy songs. I’ll leave my stores with boxes of Cox Blocker cash. We’ll all leave happy.

Cox Blocking is never cool, but as long as people are willing to invest their money to keep people from thinking for themselves there will be people who will trade on that willingness.

“There is no such thing as bad publicity.”  – P.T. Barnum

*Ms. Cox has said “…I’ll let their corporate office figure out what to do with them when I return them on day 59 of a 60-day return policy.” I wonder what motivation Pac-Sun has to follow their policy? They wouldn’t be accepting a return to keep a good customer happy, they’d be rewarding a busybody.

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Author:

Most who read my blog don't know me from the man in the moon. But they seem nice and I am, in fact, The Man In The Moon.

45 thoughts on “Judy Cox Makes Offensive T-Shirts Cool

  1. I was looking at the pic of Judy and thinking how hot she’d look with the right T-shirt on. She needs a fashion intervention, and I’m just the blogger to do it. Come on girl, let’s put that $547 refund to good use down at the outlets!

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    1. I want Pac Sun to refuse to accept the shirts. They were not bought for the purpose they were intended – making teen aged boys look like douches – so they’re under no obligation to take them back.

      Besides, if they take them back it’s bad for my business model.

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      1. I’m sure the spin doctors who work for Pac Sun are looking at their options to come out of this looking like victims, while zealots are lining up to support Ms. Cox on the bandwagon of virtuousness. As some who’s sitting on a huge surplus of “What Would One Point Perspective Say About This?” T-shirts, this whole thing sticks in my craw…

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        1. It is going to be a battle that no one wins. There have been kids who choose to dress like losers since the dawn of time. Only time saves them from themselves.

          I miss the Spin Doctors. This is my favorite of their songs. “I’ll take the salt from my wounds and put it in my margaritas”. Love it.

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  2. What a rebel, going to wait until day 59 to return the shirts, because she CAN. I hope her kid or dog eats the receipt before she can return them.

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  3. Think of all the wee children that were forced to make those T-Shirts in some sweat shop in some down trodden country. They had to look at them every day. Maybe she should donate them to homeless people so they have something indecent to wear while trying to stay warm. I don’t know where I am going with this…the whole thing is very weird.

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  4. I think you’re missing the point. She did bring attention to the store and the shirts, but she also started a conversation that is important for many of us who feel as she does.

    She didn’t say: the government should censor these shirts. She said as consumers we can refuse to frequent stores that peddle vulgarity to young kids for profits.

    There is such a thing as innocence and respecting the boundaries of the very young, and Pac-Sun is a store that is for minors. There’s nothing wrong with selling bawdy or suggestive stuff — as long as its not pushed in the face of kids in a mall. There are stores and online places for that.

    It was hard for me as a mom to walk by Victoria’s Secret with my toddler son because some of those displays were really very sexual. I wasn’t ready for him to see that and as a consumer it makes me mad that we don’t have more choices about how stuff is presented to us in that way.

    If you walk into Spencer’s you know what you are in for. But Pac-Sun is a regular clothing store and I think she’s right to be mad about that merchandise being out there.

    Beyond just the vulgarity factor, there is a societal cost. I’m not saying a t shirt will cause a teen girl to go out and get laid without contraception or STD protection, but in the cumulative, yeah. There’s a bit too much suggestiveness out there. Young people ARE sexual — all humans are — but as a society we do not sufficiently prepare pre-teens and teens for the practical, emotional, and physical consequences of becoming sexually active with other people, while we DO put out an awfully lot of suggestive television, music, merchandise, etc. that is marketed to them. And I say that as an adult who was a sexually active teen in the 70s and DEFINITELY Brooke Shields modeling in her Calvins at age 12, movies like Pretty Baby and Endless Love, and countless pop songs about teens having sex (not to mention drugs) made me think it was okay and I was ready to go there. I wasn’t. And it isn’t any better now.

    Young people are more inclined to take risks. But the buyers who put this stuff in stores marketed to youth are adults and have the benefit of more mature judgment and a lower risk propensity. They should be responsible and take into account that their decision making ability is different from a young person’s.

    And that’s not a joking matter or a matter of morals. 1/2 of all new STDs occur in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. 1 in 4 sexually active young women have an STD. Over 300,000 babies are born to teen mothers every year.

    They are old enough to do it but not old enough to fully process what will happen to them when they do it, and that’s partly our fault for not providing an equivalent amount of education and support services to go along with all this titillation for $$$.

    So was she a busy-body? Or just someone who is fed up?

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    1. And I agree with a lot of your points. The limits are pushed too far in a lot of ways. I guarantee that if my son showed up with one of those shirts he would leave without it. And another example…saw a kid with a shirt that said “Pimpercrombie and Bitch”. Remarkably, he was with a girlfriend and HER parents. No way that kid would be near my daughter.

      I guess I just see behavior like this as a slippery slope. If she’s right here, how far does she have to go to be wrong? If she disagrees that kids shouldn’t be raised listening to Bruce Springsteen because she is offended by some of his lyrics would she be right in preventing their sale?

      I just think that the best way to let Pac Sun know that those shirts are wrong (and they very much are) is to make sure our kids are raised to look at that and make a smart decision to take a pass on them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really, Judy, really? Makes me want to fly to Utah with my dad’s old shirt…If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t. I hope they refuse the refund, too.

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  6. I thought the same thing when I read about it: the retailer is the one who “wins” when a person employs this method of protest. Now, they have her money and there is no guarantee that they will accept the return of the items. Still, I suppose, she put her money where her mouth is.

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  7. I share the lady’s umbrage. I would never wear a shirt like that. The modern civilized American has made being a douchebag an art form. Designs like “GO F*CK YOURSELF” or “LADIES, HAVE A SEAT” with an up-arrow are too damn common. You have the right to believe what you want, but you shouldn’t have the right to walk around being an offensive eyesore. Freedom sure is ugly.

    Like Oma points out, the lady’s strategy seems to be in question. Buying them up? That just stops one store and likely only until the end of the shift when they chuckle while opening more boxes in the back and restock. She seems to be under the impression that they don’t have the ability to make more. My friend Greg Focker once told me about this phenomenon. “Ok, well don’t you think that the Samsonite people, in some crazy scheme in order to make a profit, MADE MORE THAN ONE BLACK SUITCASE?” My other friend, Navin R. Johnson, overheard this and sagely added, “Ah. It’s a profit deal.”

    I don’t understand the message she’s sending by returning the shirts on day 59 of a 60-day return policy. Does she flash a badge at the clerk and say, “I was never here.” Is she saying you should only fight for what you believe in until it costs an actual penny?

    Doesn’t she know the shirts will go right back on sale? Didn’t she just inadvertently increase demand and now she’s going to give them even more inventory which will soon be proudly sported by the douchy among us?

    I’m not so sure she’s thought this through.

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    1. Ok, first, the Navin reference only solidifies your guru status.

      And your point about fighting until it actually costs you – agreed. If she is such a folk hero for spending her money to save the children, SPEND THE MONEY. Someone above mentioned donating the shirts to a homeless shelter. That works for me and cuts in to Pac Sun’s image with kids.

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  8. I welcome citizen activism as long as no one gets hurt. If I were a parent in this world, I’d be on medication for sure. Tasteless, sexist stuff comes at our youth from all directions. How do parents manage it? I suppose if a kid came home with one of those shirts, it would offer a responsible parent the opportunity to discuss his or her taste in fashion.

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    1. See, I think that’s exactly what ought to happen. I suppose that someone might argue that you can’t count on all parents to do that, and that’s true. But I think most would have a “what were you thinking?” discussion and make that shirt disappear.

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        1. I’m with you. If her kid brought it home it would have opened up dialogue on how wrong it is to objectify women, and how we have the ultimate power to vote with our purchasing $$$. If we don’t like what a store sells, we don’t have to shop there. We also have the right/power to tell others our point of view and let them decide.

          Then, right after this open and honest exchange of ideas, she could have burned the shirt and grounded the son for a year.

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  9. Ha ha ha. Really smart comment on the situation. It’s the first time I’ve seen this perspective,despite the number of these stories that happen year after year, and of course “Cox blocking” is a superb name and slogan. I think you’re onto something. Genius!

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  10. What I didn’t see in any stories online was her son’s reaction to the shirts. In a smart world, he would have said something like, “Mom, those shirts are wrong and any girls I know would laugh at a guy wearing one…so don’t waste your money.”

    Seeing how Ms. Cox handled this tells me that’s not something he’d know enough to say.

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    1. Alright, you hit on something that I was pretty sure i was right on but don’t have the background to discuss. I would just presume that if teen aged me showed up to pick up a date with that shirt on that the date would not go well for me, it it occurred at all.

      Further, if I dated a girl and her parents saw me in something like that I’d hear about it. These things can’t have been big sellers until they were Cox Blocked.

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  11. She would have a fit in Japan. The shirts here are obnoxious and most of the Japanese people don’t know what they say, they just want a shirt with English words on it, no matter what the words are. 75% of the time the words don’t make sense together, it’s just 4 or 5 words on a shirt. Or will simply say FUCK in large print, I saw a hat like that. haha!

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    1. I once saw a guy in an airport somewhere in the US wearing a shirt that said:

      FUCK
      YOU
      I’M FROM
      TEXAS

      But I didn’t realize that’s what it said until it was time to board our flight. Most of the time, he’d been leaning against a wall with his arms crossed in front of him, so it looked like his shirt said

      FUCK
      TEXAS

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  12. I had no idea about these shirts or Judy. Now I do. I am not a fan of Judy’s. Makes me shudder to think she might be on the PTO of some school. As daddy always said, “the moral majority is neither.”

    Like

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